“Complacency” Recovery Ramblings by an Addict


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Complacency – the word is even heard to spell, thinking about it I have to sound every part of the word out as I type it….Com…pla…cency…..yeah got it. It even sounds  complex, sometimes thinking about it makes my head hurt….from trying to keep the thoughts from scattering and moving them into action.  After all com…pla…cency is a word lacking in action!  I am much better at it now, now that I no longer use drugs (this includes alchol).  I have been told by many wiser than me to change everything about myself….and I mean leave no stone unturned or unchanged.  Complacency….well as an action I no or put myself in danger, and I am changing everything and anything about me so I will keep focused on the good and continue making progress.  Some days are better than others, some days I really have to work at it….others seem to run seamlesly as I find myself functioning in an unaccoustomed manner like a smooth running machine!…however on those other days it is more like a rusty overused machine.    Complacency, it means to me, losing site of my grattitude….its no longer as sharp, as focused in my mind as it needs to be.  Like perhaps I have not been adding to my daily gratitude list, or maybe I am not stopping to thank others for my success.  I know, I know, confusing some days it feels like every neureon is firing in the exact way that nature intended….then there’s times where I know my transmitters are not working, you know them good things that carry the dopamine through your body.  I can tell, my thoughts are slower a little darker (manic depressive you bet)….and then they take off racing to the finishing line, off I go OUT of bed and around the house full of energy.  Sometimes, there are more good days than bad days or vice versea….I have learned it’s all about attitude.  You see in my complacency stage, (meaning I was in bed and not feeling good) that I realized its all a matter of attitude, a matter of how I chose to see things.  It was in this flashbulb moment that I realized it could be a really rusty day, and I could use my complacency to change it to a good day for my well oiled machine.  My attitude is my grattitude!

 

That’s why I wonder about the word com…pla..cency in recovery, I looked up the definition, I became even more confused.  Meriam Webster said self love is a synonym, that can’t be because while taking my journey through recovery I am learning to love myself with confidence….not pompposness.  Complacency indicates to me lack of an action applied to a problem.  So is working less when your forced to bed being complacent or is working more on my recovery steps, stepping into my character defect of being obbessive?  Or is the saying true….if your not working your program your slipping towards relapse??? I know, I know I am starting to sound really confused, thats because I think and feel now, on my own without the use of drugs again to me this includes alcohol) and I did this for thirty years. How long do you think it will take me to get back to normal…well you know undo what I did in the past in my mind and body? Sponsors are a big help but its kind of hard to tell someone something your not sure of how your going to feel about it, till you think about it….right????  Or am I simply making an excuse?

 

Gosh these racing thoughts and mood swings drives me nuts, so much worse yet is the flat affect I get when I take all my meds EXACTLY the way I should and not through them away(some days that thought is very appealing.  Yeah before I couldn’t get enough pills now the doctor can’t prescribe enough and none of them are narcotic.  Very important difference there….I have learned to handle pain without the use of narcotics!!! It feels like my whole world is an opposite, I mean in 31 months I have changed everything about me, everything, everyperson, everyplace….you get the picture.  

 

Anyways, I called my sponsor, AGAIN, and do you know what she said to me, I mean I cannot believe this….she asked me if I remembered to “slow down, take a deep breath and breathe!!!!! ” Are you serious!!!!!  of course i did not remember this.  Complacency….not taking action….I am taking way to much, I am worrying way to much, and yes she was serious….breathe.    Okay I got it know…the whole point…I was not staying in the present!

 

Yep two and a half years into recovery, and I can’t remember to breathe.

Patricia Ann Fennessey Hole

Thoughts of love, light & laughter sent to you.~Patricia~ https://t.co/3Sri59mMrr

“Complacency” Recovery Ramblings of an Addict.


 

Complacency – the word is even heard to spell, thinking about it I have to sound every part of the word out as I type it….Com…pla…cency…..yeah got it. It even sounds  complex, sometimes thinking about it makes my head hurt….from trying to keep the thoughts from scattering and moving them into action.  After all com…pla…cency is a word lacking in action!  I am much better at it now, now that I no longer use drugs, or put myself in danger, and I am changing everything and anything about me so I will keep focused on the good.  Some days are better than others, some days I really have to work at it….others seem to run seamlesly as I find myself functioning in an unaccoustomed manner.  Complacency, it means to me, losing site of my grattitude….as I struggle to remain clean….its no longer as sharp, as focused in my mind as it needs to be.  I know, I know, confusing some days it feels like every neureon is firing in the exact way that nature intended….then there’s times where I know my transmitters are not working, you know them good things that carry the dopamine through your body.  I can tell, my thoughts are slower a little darker (manic depressive you bet)….and then they take off racing to the finishing line, off I go OUT of bed and around the house full of energy.  Sometimes, there are more good days than bad days or vice versea….I have learned it’s all about attitude.

 

That’s why I wonder about the word com…pla..cency in recovery, I looked up the definition, I became even more confused.  Meriam Webster said self love is a synonym, that can’t be because while taking my journey through recovery I am learning to love myself with confidence….not pompposness.  Complacency indicates to me lack of an action applied to a problem.  So is working less complacent or is working more on my recovery stepping into my character defect of being obbessive?  Or is the saying true….if your not working your program your slipping towards relapse??? I know, I know I am starting to sound really confused, thats because I think and feel now, on my own without the use of drugs.  Sponsors are a big help but its kind of hard to tell someone something your not sure of how your going to feel about it, till you think about it….right????  Or am I simply making an excuse?

 

Gosh these racing thoughts and mood swings drives me nuts, so much worse yet is the flat affect I get when I take all my meds EXACTLY the way I should and not through them away(some days that thought is very appealing.  Yeah before I couldn’t get enough pills now the doctor can’t prescribe enough and none of them are narcotic.  Very important difference there….I have learned to handle pain without the use of narcotics!!! It feels like my whole world is an opposite, I mean in 31 months I have changed everything about me, everything, everyperson, everyplace….you get the picture.  

 

Anyways, I called my sponsor, AGAIN, and do you know what she said to me, I mean I cannot believe this….she asked me if I remembered to “slow down, take a deep breath and breathe!!!!! ” Are you serious!!!!!  of course i did not remember this.  Complacency….not taking action….I am taking way to much, I am worrying way to much, and yes she was serious….breathe.    Okay I got it know…the whole point…I was not staying in the present!

 

Yep two and a half years into recovery, and I can’t remember to breathe.

Patricia Ann Fennessey Hole

Thoughts of love, light & laughter sent to you.~Patricia~ https://t.co/3Sri59mMrr

“SLOGANS” Recovery Ramblings of an Addict 06-25-2013


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Patricia Ann Fennessey Hole 
COME along and talk with me ~Patricia~ ☾☆★¸.•*¨*••.¸☾☆¸.•*¨*★ ☾☆★¸.•*¨*••.¸☾☆¸.•*¨*★ 
Freshly detoxed, I began to attend AA meetings, 90 in 90. The first 30 meetings I was so very puzzled by the group meetingsI They talked to each other in code, I was sure they had a private cult, and that I was excluded from their membership proved by they always had something weird to say to me. KCB Keep coming back….well yeah duh the courts said I had to why would I not…no jail for me. BREATHE….yeah every minute I do…hope you do to. EASY DOES IT…..omgosh….duh that the only way I take it. WTH is a “BIG BOOK”. These guys are a bunch of losers…lol.

60 meetings in 60 days okay KCB, yep they wanted me to actually come back. I was invited back!!!! No one has ever invited me back before…..could be because I was the passed out one on the floor, that stayed to the bitter end. BREATHE okay…they wanted me to take a breath and breathe when things felt beyond my control. EASY DOES IT…okay stop allowing my overwhelming guilt and disgust overwhelm me. Ironically they added a few more codes. I heard THIS TO WILL PASS…..no it won’t if I thought it would I wouldn’t be hyperventilating opps I guess I am forgetting to breathe. I wonder when they will allow me to be a member so I can talk code to!

90 meetings in 90 days! You will never guess what happened, I am now a member. Yeah imagine that, I found out you are a member when you say you are. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. They don’t talk codes, they mention slogans and they are all in the “BIG BOOK”….the big book is their book that has their program in it. It’s kinda like the meat of the meal. Oh guess what they have a program that if I follow the program I never have to use again. Its amazing they are going to teach me a new way of life. I finally opened my eyes, ears and heart to the program. They say “MEETING MAKERS MAKE IT” …that’s me…. and I am going to “STICK WITH THE WINNERS” cuz I want what they have.

This was a piece I wrote almost three years ago, I still attend meetings and these people are all my brothers & sisters in sobriety….living clean!

Recovery… Love and Harmony Poem


Recovery Love and Harmony…

AS I SIT BESIDE THE FIRE AND DREAM,
OF TIMES GONE BY AND THINGS NEVER SEEN
I WONDER OF LOVES LOST AND HOPES UNMET,
OF DAYS PASSED AND DATES UNKEPT
MY MIND ALONE, MY SPIRIT WEAK
MY SOUL FILLED WITH SHAME
TEARS FLOW IN SORROW
I DON’T WANT TO SEE TOMORROW
THE DREAMS I LOVED HAVE BEEN AND GONE
NEVER NO MORE TO LOOK UPON


DREAMING A VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD
TELLS ME TO THINK
MAYBE TODAY I SHOULDN’T USE OR DRINK
REMINDING ME OF THOSE WHO LOVE ME STILL
AND MAYBE OF THOSE THAT ALWAYS WILL
THAT I WANTED TO LIVE NOT BE DEAD

FOR REASONS KNOWN ONLY TO ME,
I DECIDE TO LET THE BOTTLE, AND DRUGS BE
TO SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS MEANT TO BE SEEN
WITHOUT THE HAZE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL AS A SCREEN

THE BEAUTY, THE WARMTH, THE SORROW THE PAIN.
SOULS LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NO SHAME
PEOPLE LAUGHING, AND JOKING ABOUT HAVING FUN
THE WARMTH OF THE SUN
SWEET SMELL OF THE EARTH AFTER A RAIN
A SLIGHT BREEZE IN THE AFTERNOON
PLEASURE IN WATCHING BIRDS PLAY
THE SUN FINALLY BEGAN TO FADE
DIAMONDS IN THE SKY SURROUNDING THE MOON
I KNEW I HAD TO BE SAVED SOON

I STOPPED OVERWHELMED KNELT AND PRAYED
HUMBLED AT HOW FAR DOWN I HAD FELL
LORD PLEASE MAKE ME WHOLE TODAY
TAKE AWAY THE TRIGGERS AND THE FEIGN
GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO FACE EACH DAY
SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE SOBER, CLEAN

NOW I PRAY FOR GUIDANCE ON THE MORN OF EACH NEW DAY
AND THANKS I PRAY AT THE END OF A CLEAN EVERY DAY.
AS I NOW HAVE COME TO BELIEVE
OF THAT WHICH BEFORE I COULD NOT CONCEIVE
A NEW LIFE I HAVE COME TO SEE
A NEW CHANCE TO FINALLY BE
HAPPY, DRUG FREE FINALLY ABLE TO FACE LIFE
AND WORK THROUGH ANY STRIFE.

LOOK AROUND YOU, AND YOU TOO WILL SEE,
THE TOTAL LOVE AND HARMONY.

 

Rambling Recovery thoughts – CHANGE


Colorful Door

When One Door Closes….Another Opens…..this is a Colorful Door (Photo credit: brentdanley)

CHANGE….its all about change.  You would think, I would welcome change, as this I know is how I obtained sobriety.  To get clean….Yep, I changed people, places and things.   My sandbox was in a new location, home instead of the streets….it was filled with new people, people in recovery….and things, that would be everything and anything about me.  This new me is still a stranger, after all working the steps, my sobriety program, and probation gave me motivation to change.  At 53 years old, I am still changing….that is part of recovery.  I will  always be in a status of continual change….a progression….a journey…..that has a purpose but no final destiny.

But still I fear the unknown, I am really working on the defect of character of fear of change.  I like routines, patterns, familiar things….bad news to an addict like myself.  I am trying to embrace change, welcome the opening of a new door, closing the door to the past. You know the saying….”when one door closes, another opens”. In my case that door feels like a swinging door. First I approach the door, peeking and peering about, pondering the door.  When I decide to close the door….on the past…on a memory….on a thought pattern, I am unsure of my  decision.  That’s the truth with no sugar coating…closing the door is not easy.  It’s something you learn to do.  After all as an addict I learned to keep all doors open…as though they were escape routes.  At times my emotions can swing just as wildly  as a swinging shutter door… you know, like a shutter on a window, caught up in a windy storm, or still as a hot summer day with no breeze.  Its funny often I feel as though I am in a storm….hot, cold, windy, yet calm.

I have learned that each time I feel to centered….I need to take a deeper look inside and see what I am covering up or hiding from.  I usually find its a thought, centered around a routine, that has a pattern to it.  Since I was little I had learned to hide emotions, feelings and my thoughts….to conceal my reactions….this old habit is hard to break.  I like to be able to predict reactions, my thoughts,….I can not afford this luxury.  Change, meant stress, unpredictability, and most importantly it caused me to self medicate…well change means I can no longer  use this as an excuse.

That old me is gone, there is truly a new me, that I know not that well….yet.  I am still learning to allow myself to feel my emotions….allow myself time to process my thoughts.  I know that the serenity prayer is all about these rambling thoughts of change in recovery.  Each day I am getting a   little better at accepting what I can and cannot change, the courage and the wisdom to confront the world of change that has opened before me.  I am finally at the point that I can approach the door, explore the door and close the door without going back…well most of the time.

Road to RECOVERY Part 2 of 3


I no longer opened my eyes in fear in the morning….no longer am I afraid when I awake.  This is a new feeling as prior to this I always woke up cautiously….old habbits die hard.  Now upon awakening in the morning, I was no longer confused.  I woke up eager and full of hope, anxious to see what the new day would bring me.  Every day I tried to learn new things about living clean.  I am not saying that every day was filled with rainbows…no, there where good and bad days, but at least I knew the good days where out weighing the bad days.  My health was becoming so much more stable, my mental status was no longer shaky.

Its a wonderful period of confidence….I can do this.  Attending meetings four to five times a week….I am embracing my program of recovery.  The only thing that really bothered me was I was so out of breath, still so very tired.  Being tired was a huge trigger for me…I prayed feverently.  I asked my higher power to remove my urge to self medicate….I knew recovery, living sober was to be my new way of life.  However, in all honesty being so tired left the urges.

Its Halloween, I have a cold, my chest is so tight, I cough continually, my stomach feels upset a lot of the time.  I stopped in to the emergency room, they decided to keep me overnight.  What a God send that was.

My chest hurt….every breath was a struggle.  Constant, continual coughing, and congestion were robbing my lungs and body of oxygen. A deep heavy pressure filled my chest, my chest felt so very cold.  Each breath I took filled me with more coldness.  Time passed…..I began to feel dizzy, nauseated.  I felt as if someone had placed a band of steel over my chest.  I felt a panic begin to rise emotionally as I struggled gulping for oxygen.  Each breath became more and more difficult… My lungs could not fill as a stabbing pain began to throb in my chest, my vision blurred, my head throbbed.  I felt caught up in a vise grip of terror as I felt the coldness of my breath, working with a tightness throughout my body.  The tightness began radiating from my chest to my jaw, to my arms.  My ears began to roar as I struggled for consciousness, scrambling to make sense the hazy red curtain that unfolded in my eyes.  I could not comprehend what was happening…..

My thoughts raced as I was lost to the blackness.  I was alone…..I struggled to move…unable to even blink.  As my ears rang, they were joined in a harmony of alarms, sirens.  A tunnel of darkness was weighing down upon me…I felt so alone….so very cold. Silence, finally.  I was no longer afraid…I felt a floating sensation engulf me as a blinding intense light seemed to welcome me.  I felt an exteme warmth engulfing me…the light welcoming me…and free of pain.  I no longer hurt. I knew instantly, although no longer afraid nor alone that I was leaving something behind. I felt at peace.

Shadows started to invade my sight…as I felt myself spiral back through a vortex of darkness.  The lights were gone, it was cold again…..the pain had returned.  More bells, whistles whatever they were seemed to get louder and louder.

At last, a voice pierced the veil of darkness,in the light I sensed someone asking me questions.  ”Keep your head left” barked at me as I felt the return of warmth, a stabbing of pain in my groin.  My brain struggled to capture and recognize the fragments of light, warmth, and muted conversation.  More stabbing pain, voices….”100% blockage”, “widow maker”, “massive heart attack”.

The coldness slowly was lifted, the light was no longer surreal, the steel band was loosening.  I breathed deeply feeling the warm oxygen filling my heart and lungs.  I awoke in a fog of pain.  I was only 51 years old what had happened?  I awoke again, surrounded by white coats, my groin was on fire, someone was pushing on my groin, over and over again.  A doctor patiently explained, that I had had a massive heart attack, with 100% blockage in the LD artery.  How could that be, I puzzled over the fuzz of pain, and confusion.  I had had a stint placed in my valve, I would need to take medication for the next 12 months, I would need rehabilitation.  WHAT? My mind shouted, I was in the best health I had been in years.  Gosh….detox rehab, sobriety rehab, and now they are talking cardio rehab.

As I started to recover, I spent 7 days in intensive care, where they carefully explained my new lifestyle.  Another major change, another rehabilitation, more medicine.  At first, resentment became a familiar feeling, an old trigger….the anger, why me…..then depression, poor me.  I sunk back into a darkness, the HOLE was back.  I cried alot as I felt I had done everything right, why should I have to suffer so….why this huge setback.  It wasn’t a setback although it took me a month or so to see that. I began to see, that it was time to take the next step of putting my program of sobriety into action.  Why was I so self centered, could I not see that I had been spared?  Why was I so fearful again….is not fear resentment turned backwards?  I had changed my thinking, but now it was time to take my thinking to another level, a level of applying what I had learned as my foundation…..and moving forwards.

Thank you God for allowing me to have the heart attack in the hospital as this is why I am alive today.  Thank you God for helping my heart grow even stronger than before as now I have another new lease on life.  As I struggled to re-learn, I was constantly afraid, every missed beat, terrified me.  I was afraid I was going to die.  It was hard for me to understand, why at this stage in my recovery, I had a heart attack.  Later with time, I learned, we are never given more than we can bare.  I learned new meaning to turning your life and your will over to a higher power.  I had to put into practice all the NA/AA twelve steps, I had to learn to give my fears, my life, over to my higher power so that I could resume life again.

One of things I learned is that if I hadn’t had a recovery group and prayer…..where would I have been? God, my higher power, took care of what I could not take care of myself.   I was ALIVE!!!  I learned to keep a gratitude list, every day I made a note in it…..adding something new.  I learned that recovery is based on action, attending meetings and meditation were not enough to stay sober and clean, I had to do something everyday.  I learned about service, about reaching out to other addicts who still suffer and was then I learned to be grateful…..yes, grateful for my heart attack.

Today at a gym, I can ride a bike ten to twelve miles, I walk on a treadmill for half an hour.  NOW, I am in the best shape I have ever been, spiritually and physically.

http://www.facebook.com/patricia.hole

Road to RECOVERY Part 1 of 3


Being sober….who even would have thought that me… forget that, I would never of thought.  Everyday that I wake, I open my eyes slowly, it seems to good to be true.  I am cautious as I slowly open my other eye….immediately, relief floods my senses….I AM SOBER AND CLEAN.  I immediately thank my higher power as there is no greater gift I have been given.  I gave the care of my life over to my higher power, as my life was out of control and lord knows I couldn’t control it.  Now every day that I awake….the first thing I do, is get down on my knees.  I have been clean for 22 months now, it’s a dream come true.  A dream that I could not of accomplished without my higher power, of that I have no doubt.  Prior to that I was hell-bent on destruction of self through methamphetamine.

In the beginning months of sobriety, I compared myself to a new-born baby.  I was, as I had self medicated my entire life, all my life skills had to be re-learned.  My emotions that I had hidden so deeply, came up to the surface like a volcano, unpredictable I never knew if I was going to start crying, or laughing. E motions something I had not dealt with, would pour out of me.  I was like an unreliable flood gate.  There was immense guilt over what I had done in the past, what I could not remember doing…everything seemed so painful.  I remember the second day home….I put on all my makeup….then I got into the shower and washed my hair.  I would put on my shoes and then see my socks still sitting on the bed.  I was in a fog a lot of the time, it seemed thoughts came out of thin air…my responses to things that were happening seemed slowed, as if I was in a slow motion tunnel.

After release from The Recovery Place in Florida, I was indeed a new-born baby, learning to walk again, baby steps…tiny baby steps.  One day at a time….forget that….one minute at a time.  Many times, I would sit through a trigger, a an urge to use, by watching the second-hand on the clock, counting the seconds as they moved by, till I finally got through another minute of staying away from the drug of my choice methamphetamine.  I knew to use again, I would die, it wasn’t an option being on probation.  Knowing that did not still stop the urges, they would come when I least expected them.  I noticed a pattern, hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT) brought forth the triggers and urges.  My triggers, music, people, places, certain things….I had to change my whole way of thinking.  I noticed the urges were strongest when I did not have something in my hands….I carried a lighter everywhere with me.  It helped it kept my hands busy, it was like a pacifier.  When I first got home from rehab, I was afraid to go out, afraid that I would see one of my old running buddies.  I hurried to places, keeping my head down, avoiding eye contact.  The world through sober eyes was a bit much for me to deal with.  The paranaia had disappeared, in its place was lack of confidence.  When I was out in public…I thought my forehead contained a big sign, DOPE ADDICT.  I didnt trust myself or anyone else.  I once again was afraid people would find out that I was an addict.

About six months into living clean, I noticed rainbows everywhere….figuratively.  I viewed the world thru rose-colored glasses….I had made it six months nothing could stop me now.  I had a new routine down, shower, makeup, coffee….etc.  All my old friends…right…acquaintences….were gone.  My thinking was changing.  I was no longer afraid of all the challenges of living sober…I began to eagerly anticipate change.  I knew if nothing changed….nothing changes.  I had tools at my side, a big book, a recovery group, a higher power who would take care of me…..if…..I turned myself over to him.  I picked up my sixth month key tag , and a six month coin.

Every day was getting easier, the triggers, I now knew and stayed away from them.  The urges were gone.  I was in a new stage of sobriety…I started working the steps.  Most importantly…I took things very very slowly.  I did not answer a question right off the top of my head like I used to, I found that I had to pause and think about my reply.  My brain was becoming normal!!  The nightmares about using had finally stopped.  I had horrible nightmares where I would wake up shaking….only to find that it was a dream.  I noticed small changes…others called the changes miracles….they were.   I started looking people in the eye, I was not as afraid to go out in public.  I was learning people skills again.  One thing that amazed me is when I first heard myself really laugh….it startled me…what was that?  In active addiction, all your emotions are hidden to include joy or simple laughter.

Sixth months into sobriety I no longer cared who knew I was an addict.  I had learned that my sobriety had to come first….kinda like that old saying….”if mama ain’t happy no one is”.  I had learned at this stage, that my higher power was my guide to sobriety.  Amazingly I did not hurt….I learned to rock, movement keeping my joints limber.  I learned to pray.  I learned the true meaning of humble, the difference in humility.  I learned what “easy does it”, “one step at a time” meant.  I learned that addiction is a disease, just like RA, fibro, and manic depressive….all of which I could learn to live with.

The most important thing I learned was it God does for you, what you cannot do for yourself.